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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Saturday, June 9th, 2007
Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:59 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: 1 Kings 1, 1 Kings 2; John 18:19-40

Good morning,

There are many interesting and important things that happened in the last hours of Jesus’ life, not the least of which is the exchange between Pilate and Jesus. You have probably made many studies of this exchange before and have probably discovered many interesting things. You may have even conducted some research on Pilate. As interesting as history is I am more fascinated with Jesus’ reaction to Pilate, what he said and what he did not say.

The first thing that Pilate had to establish is what this man, Jesus, was all about. Pilate is direct in his question. “Are you the king of the Jews?” With such a simple question and considering that Jesus eventually answers the question, why would Jesus be so difficult in responding:

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

"Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" (John 18:33-34)

Remember all the other exchanges Jesus had with people. He did not waste time on the surface matters but went to the heart of the matter. In this exchange Jesus was addressing the motivation of Pilate. “Are you asking for personal interest or are you simply repeating something you do not understand?” I do not want to trivialize this exchange but this same question can be asked of all of us in our knowledge of Jesus.

Many of us confess a personal salvation through Jesus Christ who we claim is our Saviour, Lord and King but actually we are living on the testimonies of others. It is similar to us having a Prime Minister. We claim him as our Prime Minister (a fact of election and not necessarily a personal choice) but we do not know him. We wouldn’t call him up and ask him out for a coffee, yet, he is our Prime Minister. In this similar attitude we claim Jesus as Lord, but we have no personal knowledge of him. We exist on the testimonies of others. How would we respond to that question, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?”

Pilate did what many of us do, he avoided the question by asking a question, “Am I a Jew?” And then he tries to put Jesus in his place by pointing out that his own people handed him over. Pilate does not want any heat on himself for this thing. I can only imagine what it would have been like standing there in the full authority of Rome facing this man who had the full authority of heaven. Not much of a match. Pilate’s heart was cold. It was closed to Jesus. He did not understand and he did not want to understand. Jesus was about to give him the opportunity for him to receive understanding:

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (John 18:36-37)

Jesus reveals himself to Pilate as he is revealed to each of us at some point. It is in that moment that we are given the opportunity to make a decision for or against Jesus. Some may have several opportunities but everyone will have at least one. This was Pilate’s moment. This is where we see the coldness of his heart:

"What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews. (John 18:38)

Again with a question. Avoidance. He did not even stick around for an answer.

Jesus is not satisfied with simply answering our questions and granting our wishes. He wants us to have understanding. He wants to deal with the important issues of our heart. It will always come down to whether we know him or whether we know of him. Make a decision to answer him honestly in this matter, and stick around for the answers. It will change your life.

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